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HK posts 31k turnout in overseas voting with 16 days to go

23 April 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap


More than 1,600 people voted today despite an overcast day (photo from Congen Raly Tejada)

Hong Kong looks on track to surpass the 49% turnout recorded in the 2016 overseas voting presidential elections with the daily tally not falling below 1,000 despite the most severe social distancing restrictions  imposed by the government.

According to Consul General Raly Tejada, the turnout in the past 14 days of voting has topped 31,000.

With 16 more days to go, which include three Sundays and two statutory holidays on May 2 and 9 (day after Labor Day and Buddha’s Birthday, respectively), he is confident the final figure would at least eclipse the 42,000 posted in 2016.


The total registered number of voters then was only slightly less than the 93,265 logged for this year.

Congen Tejada said he was hopeful that alongside a higher turnout, the ongoing vote which ends on May 9 would remain peaceful and orderly with help from the Filipino community.

He also reported that all 10 precincts or SBEIs (special board of election inspectors) each with a working vote counting machine will be in place for tomorrow’s vote, and that this should considerably cut the queuing time for voters.

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“10 VCMs and 10 SBEIs tayo tomorrow,” he said.

Last Sunday, two VCMs broke down, leading to longer lines for voters, with some allocated to the nun-functioning precincts being forced to wait for more than six hours to cast their ballots. Despite this, a record 5,000 plus people managed to vote.

Congen Tejada said the replacement machines arrived on Thursday, and they were able to set them up immediately.


On Thursday, the turnout was a steady 1,300, then dipped slightly to about 1,000 on Friday. Today it was back to 1,600.

The queue quickly cleared because all precincts were open again

The country’s top diplomat came under fire from militant groups over the police decision to stop queuing on the first Sunday of voting less than four hours after it started. United Filipinos-Migrante Hong Kong blamed this on only five precincts being opened initially for the vote.

Unifil said more than twice as many voters could have cast their ballots that day if the “chaos” did not happen.

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The group also deplored that the Consulate had run out of poll watchers’ IDs because of indiscriminate distribution to various groups.

But during an online hearing at the House of Representatives on the chaos claims earlier this week, Congen Tejada said cutting off the queue on the first Sunday had to be made at the request of the police who said they could no longer control the crowds.


He also said the initial decision to cut the number of precincts in Hong Kong by half was made by the Commission on Elections. The Consulate, he said, would never have made that decision because it made their job more difficult.

He appealed to all members of the community to just work together to ensure an orderly and successful overseas voting.
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